With the celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada this past weekend, we thought it would be fitting to reflect on the importance of GRATITUDE and THANKFULNESS.
Don’t you love it when smart, data-driven people use their sophisticated mathematical models and scientific research to confirm things that already make sense intuitively?
More and more, scientific research is confirming that being THANKFUL has many benefits to our overall physical, emotional, mental – and, yes, financial wellbeing. But quite remarkably, the Thanksgiving holidays can slip by without many of us even taking the time to pause and give THANKS. Could it be that giving THANKS is unnatural and uneasy for some of us?
Let’s take a look:
At its most basic level GRATITUDE is an acknowledgement that something we own or enjoy may not have come about solely by the work of our own two hands or by our expert planning. It’s admitting that forces outside of ourselves may have contributed to, or were even responsible for, so many of the things or people we enjoy. And when we fail to acknowledge our gifts and blessings, we can mislead ourselves into taking credit for things we had very little to do with acquiring in the first place.
However, when we pause to take a look, we’re often surprised by the amazing gifts included in our lifelong goodie bags. They range from the miniscule to the majestic. Giving THANKS for these gifts helps us to appreciate what we have today instead of focusing on what we don’t have. This is the magic of contentment. And this is where the research comes in.
Harvard Health, Mayo clinic and dozens of other research experts globally have confirmed in several controlled studies that GRATITUDE improves medical outcomes, reduces the frequency of illnesses, improves mental health, boosts hopefulness and impacts on hypertension and heart disease are better controlled. Studies confirm that THANKFULNESS helps to dissipate feelings of anxiety and depression and is a major boost to relationships – including spousal relationships. THANKFULNESS also helps to right-size our appetites for material things and temper our desires for accumulating more than we need.
Let’s not wait for Thanksgiving. Make giving THANKS a part of our daily routine.